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21 July 2022 | Posted by angela.tuduri

What is the OKR methodology and how to achieve it

Identifying strengths and weaknesses in a company can help us develop objectives, but did you know that only 16% of organizations have a clear roadmap for their objectives? One of the most effective ways to define them is by following the OKR methodology through objectives and key results.  

Business objectives are indicators used to mark the roadmap of an organization. These markers will allow us to know the scope, benefits and resources needed to achieve success. When setting project objectives, we identify different possible situations or scenarios: what do we want to achieve, how and when will we do it?   

The OKR methodology eases the identification of the most essential business objectives through future-focused thinking and key results.   

Want to learn more?  

Table of contents:   

Objectives and key results - What is OKR?   

  • OKR vs KPI  

OKR Methodology   

  • Objectives  

  • Key results   

  • Benefits  

How to define OKRs   

  • Set objectives  

  • Include deadlines and dates   

  • Key results  

  • Measure results   

Objectives and Key Results - What is OKR  

OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results, a business methodology that helps define, track and monitor an organization's objectives. The first outline of this methodology was drawn in 1968, when Intel co-founder Andrew Grove decided to set clear goals for his employees, allowing them to explore ways to achieve them.   

A year later, Google chose its method to manage cross-departmental work; and today, many companies choose this method to organize and manage their teams.   

In this way, they can afford to organize the daily workload in workgroups without deviating from the established objectives. The OKR methodology is an evaluation element to measure the progress of work teams and business objectives.  

OKR vs KPI  

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics that facilitate control and help measure the progress of actions in projects. OKRs, on the other hand, are the methodology that defines and achieves objectives.  

In this framework, KPIs are used to know the current situation of the business, while the OKR methodology will be the process of organizing and deciding the objectives of the business.   

There are situations where KPIs help to set better goals, serving as a support point for the OKR method. 

OKR Methodology   

The fundamentals of this methodology arise from two concepts: objectives and key results. The objective points out the purpose of what we want to achieve. The key results, on the other hand, will be those actions that tell us how to achieve the objective.   

What are we going to do (objective) and how are we going to do it (key result)?   

In this way, we will be able to focus our attention on those actions-results that will help us to achieve the established goals.    

Objectives   

When we establish OKR objectives within a project, we are setting the goals we wish to achieve as an organization. These goals indicate the roadmap that will guide the project to success.  

The need to set clear objectives is essential among teams. These goals must be stimulating for the team and its members, as they will be the ones in charge of focusing the trajectory of the plan. The objectives of an OKR methodology are set as follows:  

  • Aspirational   

  • Practical   

  • Measurable   

Key results  

Key results give meaning to the metrics to be tracked once the objectives have been established. We find this out by asking ourselves, how will we achieve success?  

Key results act as an indicator and allow us to check the performance and success of the company.  Without these metrics it would be impossible to develop goals that achieve the main business objectives.   

Benefits   

Thanks to the OKR methodology we can easily strengthen and scale the processes of an organization. Today, both major industry players and small and medium-sized organizations use this method to drive and empower the business.   

  • Improves communication between teams  

  • Increases focus on objectives  

  • Boosts working time  

  • Track business objectives  

  • Reduces risk of failure   

  • Improves performance measurement  

  • Optimize your work   

How to define OKRs  

When starting to develop an OKR methodology, two key elements should be considered: objectives and key results. Once both concepts are recognized, we must:   

  • Establish objectives. These must be measurable, achievable and clear. They will be the starting point to start implementing the OKR methodology.   

  • Include deadlines and dates. It is necessary to include deadlines and delivery dates. This way we will have more control over the actions and processes carried out.   

  • Key results. Once the objectives and deadlines have been defined, it will be necessary to introduce the key results that will guide the project. These results will be translated into actions and outcomes.  

  • Measure the results. Keeping the objectives and key results in the roadmap is essential. Monitoring the performance of the methodology and processes will be necessary to achieve success.   

Implementing an OKR methodology is becoming essential in project management and agile methodologies. Due to its flexibility and adaptability, it allows us to establish more concrete and achievable objectives, resulting in project success. If you are interested in project management and want to raise your professional future to another level, train in Project Management and Agile Methodologies with La Salle URL masters.

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